A homebuilder’s website is the center of their digital marketing strategy. With homebuyers increasingly relying on the Internet during their home searching process, it’s important for homebuilders to have a strong online presence. Not only do they need a website that ranks on the first page of a search result, they also need one that’s easily navigable.
There are a lot of important factors to consider when designing a website, however, most builders don’t consider SEO until the late stages of the design process. That’s much too late. Instead, SEO should be involved during the early stages of a website redesign project.
Here are a few ways SEO and web design work together.
One of the most important SEO ranking factors is a mobile-friendly design. Google made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor in 2015). With more than half of web traffic coming from mobile devices (and steadily increasing!) over the past few years, having a mobile-friendly website has become required. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly risk having high bounce rates as homebuyers leave because the website doesn’t properly load on their mobile devise, which homebuyers continue to quickly abandon your website, thus decreasing your search ranking.
Speed matters in web design and SEO. Site speed is a known ranking signal for Google. Ideally, your website should load in two seconds. A slow load time negatively affects user experience, as website visitors abandon pages and increasing your bounce rates. About half of all visitors will begin to abandon websites that take longer than three seconds to load! Remember: good design should load quickly.
Likewise, page speed also affects Google’s ability to crawl and index your website. The fewer pages Google is able to crawl, the less likely your website will be able to rank for important keywords.
A website’s structure is an important ranking signal because search engines like websites that are well-organized and easy to navigate, just like regular website visitors. You can have the most beautiful and technologically advanced website filled informative content but it won’t matter if website visitors find it difficult to find the information they’re looking for.
An easily-navigable website makes it possible for website visitors and website crawlers to move through the website, increasing how long they stay. Google interprets a long time-on-site as the website is beneficial to the visitor, which increases your search ranking.
Ideally, visitors and site crawlers will immediately have an idea of what a page is about before looking at it.
The design of your website has a huge impact on how your content is presented and received. Poor website design will make your content difficult to read, ultimately tanking user-experience and search rank.
The relationship between SEO and web design is a complex one. Although SEO and web design serve different functions, they perform better when combined into an integrated website strategy. If you’re ready to start a website redesign project, feel free to contact us. We have over 20 years of experience building functional and visually appealing websites that seamlessly combine SEO and today’s web design trends.